Research finding summaries

The Tech-VC Bloc is Key to Understanding Why Work is Getting Worse

Digital transformation is based on a promise. Sometimes this promise is the “end of work,” a world where technology displaces human toil. In more modest moments, digital transformation promises widespread prosperity, where investing in technological innovation delivers economic growth for all. These are attractive possibilities. Who wants to keep going [...]

By |2021-04-21T11:37:54-04:00Apr 21, 2021|

Thinking About Regulatory Extractive Instruments as Capitalist Violence

Imagined solutions to extractive sector injustices are limited by circumscribed regimes of policy "solutions" - and at times "transparency" is a fetish that results on documentation on paper and far too little meaningful change.

By |2021-04-14T10:22:54-04:00Apr 14, 2021|

From Neoliberalism to the New Finance Capital

If the new finance capital does not suppress, but actually intensifies, capitalist competition, then this implies the need for a more thoroughgoing remaking of these institutional forms. The corporation is not an instrument or tool to be wielded, but rather a social relation disciplined by the logic of capital. Socialists therefore must imagine and construct an alternative form of democratic economic planning to challenge, rather than reinforce, capitalist competition, which is oriented around meeting social needs, rather than serving private profits.

By |2021-03-31T09:10:16-04:00Mar 31, 2021|

From Factories to Platforms: Collective Resistance in China’s Platform Economy

Under the gig platform, technological control and management leads to grievances and perceived injustice. This dimension of control and management overlaps at times with, and is reinforced by, legal and organizational control and management, generating moments of escalation. The contractual design enables intense algorithmic control and management by giving platforms unbridled legal and technological power.

By |2021-03-03T07:59:57-05:00Mar 3, 2021|

For the People? Right-Wing Populism and Employment Standards in Ontario, Canada

Doug Ford’s right-wing populism emerged in relation to the material conditions of precariousness that had escalated in the years following the 2008 financial crisis. It tapped into the insecurities of working-class and middle-class voters generated through years of growing inequality, stagnant wages, declining unionization, and the deterioration of public services and institutions. Invoking an old neoliberal trope, its solution to the crisis included measures that would make Ontario “open for business,” including employment standards reforms that undermined basic employment protections for workers in the province. While proclaiming intentions to protect “the people” from “the elite,” Ford’s populism served to sustain and enhance capitalist interests by legitimating legislation that undermines the security of an already precarious workforce.

By |2021-01-20T15:21:07-05:00Jan 20, 2021|

The Working-Class Fight Against Fascism: Lessons From Greece

To assume that this leads to progressive politics is wrong as much as the opposite (that working-class positions are inherently associated with far-right politics). This dichotomy ignores the constitutive split of the class: the same workers that demand recognition of their specificity as an existing ‘class’ of people (affirming their class position) may also call for the undermining of class divides through the redistribution of resources. This paradox of class identity is not to be resolved by those dedicated to class analysis as a pathway to a more equal society. But a deeper understanding of how it works, could make this way shorter.

By |2021-01-13T11:15:20-05:00Jan 13, 2021|

The Wages of Whiteness or White Fragility? W.E.B. Du Bois and the Enduring Problem of Interracial Unionism

For Du Bois, whites embrace racism not because they are imbued by a psychological predisposition nor because they’re grasping for a shred of psychological superiority. Rather, they embrace white supremacy because the threat of job displacement—and the economic hardship that implies—drives whites to pursue their economic interests in racialized terms.

By |2021-01-06T16:37:51-05:00Jan 6, 2021|

Revisiting Braverman on the Division of Labor: What About Job Turf?

Job design is indeed important for understanding worker bargaining power and workplace-level inequality.  It really matters how organizations assemble tasks into jobs.  But, it is trickier than Braverman's classic theory implies.  Less complex jobs are exposed to more competition.  But jobs that are more unique within a workplace also accumulate leverage.  The workplace division of labor affects bargaining power by reducing job complexity but increasing job turf.  These effects typically impact different jobs, which drives workplace-based inequality.

By |2020-12-09T10:11:14-05:00Dec 9, 2020|

Intellectual Monopoly Capitalism and the University

The growing concentration of value and knowledge in a few big corporations that became intellectual monopolies induced different forms of academic capitalism. I present three types of academic capitalist university – teaching institutions, subordinate research universities, and academic intellectual monopolies – and explore the consequences for knowledge as commons and for academic workers, all of which have worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By |2020-12-02T13:58:01-05:00Dec 2, 2020|
Go to Top